Put Your Best Email Foot Forward (#267)

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Put Your Best Email Foot Forward (#267)

In this episode, I share with you a list of what I believe are the five tips about getting what you want from email, especially from strangers. 

  1. Use a meaningful subject line
  2. Start with something of value
  3. Don’t act like you’re my friend when you are not
  4. Ask for permission
  5. Be genuine about a thank you and a reason to respond

Like I do with everything, I’ve called upon my own experiences to create this list. I think I have a pretty good handle on how to interact with people via email, when I would like to engage them in something I think would be valuable to both of us – and on the other side as well: I know what gets my attention. Listen to this episode to go more in-depth about each of the five tips!

Full transcript below.

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Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta  00:07

Hi Everyone, welcome everyone. Thank you for joining me for another solo Friday episode of the How’d It Happen Podcast powered by WINJECT Studios. Today I am going to share a story about email. And I’m going to share a story, particularly about the five tips to getting what you want from email, especially from strangers. And like I do with everything. I’m using my own experiences here, and what has worked with me to build these tips, because I think that I have a pretty good handle on how to interact with people via email, particularly people that I don’t know, when I would like to engage them in something that I think would be valuable for both of us. So let’s start.

The first tip is that, if you’re going to send me an email, or you’re going to send someone that you don’t know, an email, use the subject line to give me some meaning. Right? Don’t forget that the subject line is really important. Like, it’s the thing that makes me want to even look at the email, let alone do something about the email. So give me a meaningful subject line. And I’m likely to do more as a result.

Number two, please don’t act like you’re my friend. If this is the first time you’re reaching out, and we don’t know one another — even if you know someone else that I know, you’re in some group that I’m in or whatever — if we don’t know one another, let’s not act like we’re friends, buddies, pals, or whatever, right off the bat. There’s plenty of time for that to happen. And I really do want that to happen with people that engage with me on email, but I get a little turned off when someone right away is like, Oh, hey, Mike, how are you? You know, that kind of thing. It’s like, that’s for friends. And that’s for people who know one another. So let’s remember that we’re not friends right away. And then our goal is to become friends.

Number three, start the email with something of value to me, or to whomever it is that you’re sending the email to; for example, start the email with a compliment, like, Oh, hey, I saw your article in wherever and mention something that actually makes me think you read it, or I heard you on a podcast with so and so. And I appreciated when you said this or you interacted with the podcast in this way or whatever, something that builds a connection with me or that you know that if you hadn’t, you know, read an article or you hadn’t read the book, or you hadn’t heard me on a podcast, and maybe you know, someone who knows me, don’t but make a connection between us. Don’t be like, oh, yeah, I know John Smith, and he knows you. And that’s enough. That’s probably not enough. So do your best to make a connection with me. And then once you’ve made the connection, get to the point. Please don’t tell me you know how busy I am. Please don’t tell me that. You know, you just need a few minutes to pick my brain or something, just, you know, give me a compliment, some build-up, some kind of connection and then get to the point and don’t waste time with you know, I know how busy you are and that kind of thing because I don’t need it. I don’t think most people need that. And then really, they know you don’t care how busy they are. So let’s just skip that.

Number four, ask for permission. Please ask for permission before you slap a calendar link in front of me and expect me to push it and set up a call or a meeting with you; ask for permission before you introduce me to someone else. It kind of drives me a little crazy when — and believe me, people that are that are emailing me, I do want have to connect with, so I’m just gonna say that right out: I do want to connect with — not everyone, but a lot of people. But when you throw an invite to meet, or you throw me a calendar Calendly link, or in the case where you’re connecting with me, you just assume that it’s okay to connect me with someone and you copy that other person, it puts me in a very awkward spot, because if I don’t want to meet with you, putting the link out there isn’t helping me. And if I don’t necessarily know if I want to meet this other person that you want to connect me with, copying them puts me in a weird position, because now I feel like I have to do something. And I don’t like to feel like I have to do something, especially when it’s someone that I don’t know while doing it. So just keep that in mind, ask for permission.

And number five, when you’re all done with it, give a genuine thank you, and give me a reason to respond. Don’t thank me for my time. Please don’t thank me for my time. I learned that a long time ago that you don’t want to thank people for your time because it automatically puts me in a position of perceived authority, which I’m not. And it also makes me think like, it’s just, you know, it’s just a filler. So don’t thank me for my time, but thank me and give me a reason to respond. That’s easy.

So, if you do all of those five things, (1) give them give meaningful subject line, (2) start with something of value, (3) don’t act like you’re my friend when you are not, (4) ask for permission, and (5) be genuine about a thank you and a reason to respond. That’s easy, I think you will see that your emails are much more effective, the perception of you is much better. You put yourself in a peer group with people that you’re trying to connect with as opposed to being an outsider trying to connect with someone who’s “on the inside.” So that’s it for today. I thank you for investing your time and energy in my podcast. And I look forward to my next Friday solo episode with you. Until then, maximize your greatness.

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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I help entrepreneurs get unstuck, take back their power, achieve their life objectives, and create the futures they want.

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